Do you have any idea of how many of your customers are now using search engines, reading online news dailies and making purchase decisions based on information published online? Well, there are many. Online Reputation Management is more important than ever. Read on!
It is a practice that involves selection; refinement and execution of various strategies to make sure the information (articles, discussions, reviews, videos, consumer complaints, photographs, podcasts etc.) published online encourages people (partners, suppliers, vendors, customers & human resources) to have business with you and not the other way round.
Listed below are a few reasons that explain why ORM (Online reputation management) is important for a business in today’s information age:
- A single consumer complaint can lead to the loss of hundreds of customers. A regular consumer rant, once ranked higher up in a search engine, can literally devastate sales volumes of a business unless it’s carefully handled by ORM professionals. Such a complaint can be identified immediately, resolved if possible, proved fake if it’s fabricated, defended wisely on a forum or just deleted after speaking to the webmaster.
- People should come across information that you want them to see (social media profiles, official blog, positive reviews etc.) – every time they look up on search engines, social networks or blogging networks for your company, products or services. ORM experts can use SEO, SMM, content marketing or a variety of reputation management tools to increase brand visibility so that negative or unwanted information is pushed far, deep into the web.
- A carefully executed website reputation management program ensures that competitors (small time scammers or establish companies known for adopting unethical business practices) cannot just duplicate your content or appearance (online identity as a whole) and scrounge you off your precious clientele.
- Bloggers, columnists and others on the internet air opinions freely on the internet. At times, they can write stuff that’s potentially damaging to the reputation of your business. Negative vibes travel very quickly on the web, especially because the competition adds all the fuel a negative story needs to get viral on the internet. An online reputation management system in place helps ensure that such issues are not just identified but also resolved at the earliest.
- Millions of people are on the internet today. Online and offline reputations or identities of businesses and individuals are now merging together. Even if a business does not carry out any operations on the World Wide Web, it still needs to have a healthy online presence so as to continue getting newer customers in the offline market!
Soon, each one of your customers is going to consider your brand’s online reputation before having any business with you! Business partners would want your name and identity on the web to elicit confidence, trust and prospective customers would wish to come across no consumer complaints or personalized rants about the poor quality of service your least performing executive provided.
Every year new prank is ready to be-fool the world and this year Google has really funny pranks to Fool people with its wit.
1. Introducing Google Nose
Google Nose Beta is now live and it allows you to search for smells. The mobile aroma indexing program now has a 15 million scentabyte database of smells from around the world. By intersecting photons with infrasound waves, Google Nose Beta temporarily aligns molecules to emulate a particular scent. So if you don’t have time to stop and smell the roses, let Google Nose Beta bring them to you.
2. Google+ Emotion
Google+ Photos has a new enhancement in that you can now add stylized emotions to your photos. Just open any of your Google+ pictures in the lightbox and click on the smiley face at the top left. Google will automatically analyze the photo and put emotion icons on top of each person in the photo. Just hit the smiley face again to revert back to your original photo.
Google kicked things off today with a video announcing that YouTube will no longer accept anymore entries starting midnight tonight through 2023. Why? Well after 8 years of uploads, it’s now time to go through all the videos and pick the winner of the best video. Of course it’s going to take a long time to go through each and every video to find the best one. They figured 10 years will be enough time to to declare the winner, but the problem is that you won’t be able to view any of the current videos when midnight strikes. The site will reopen when the winner is announced in 2013. Check out the video announcement below, which includes some cool cameos. I wonder which video would win?
Except web 2.0 developers, no one else in the world of SEO seems to believe that search engines can actually make sense of any type of URL structure. Web developers understand codes; they can play around with different URL structures and use a variety of URL handles to either manipulate inputs received from a user or keep URLs simple and easy-to-work with but no-so-SEO-friendly! Thus, SEO experts and web developers live in two parallel universes!
For a web developer – web page response time, minimum database access calls and crawling are important. For an SEO expert, however, higher rank on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is the grand Holy Grail! Read on to know how exactly a website can have SEO-friendly structure.
URLs on a website, at the first glance, should look really simple and indicate the content they have. Followed by the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (http://www), a URL has the domain name, sub-directory and short or long-tail name of the page, resource or file. The depth of the URL, according to the directory structure on your website, should be intuitive and strictly according to the keyword combinations you’re targeting for a specific page or complete website.
is way better than
2. Avoid dynamic and relative URLs
Dynamic and relative URLs such as “www.yourdomain.com/p?903458” work well for a developer but for an SEO expert, they’re unattractive and self-damaging. While dynamic URLs have post ids, dates and other random characters in them, relative URLs have contextual characters in them. Such URLs may also have additional characters such as question marks or ampersands used to track website traffic or other parameters like user id, language etc.
Search engines love consistent URLs with ‘meaningful’ structure. These URLs are static in nature and they not only help your website to be ranked well for target keywords but also motivate users to choose your website’s listing on Search Engine Results Page over 10 others as they appear meaningful with the title. Such URLs can also be solidified easily in Google Webmaster Tools by rejecting variable URL parameters if you’ve to work with any.
3. Create an XML Sitemap
XML sitemaps are quick-guides that search engines use to index various pages on your website. These sitemaps (unlike HTML sitemaps designed for quick navigation), list various page URLs on your website. It’s a good idea to have a dynamic XML Sitemap that gets automatically updated every time a new URL is created. It helps in quick search engine indexing of newly created or updated web pages and also tells search engines which URL structure to prefer in case there are any duplicates.
4. Specify canonical URLs using a special tag
A large number of websites lose link-juice simply due to the reason that they’ve duplicate URLs and no preferred or canonical URLs are specified.
On a basic level, http://yourdomain.com/sample-url and http://yourdomain.com/sample-url/34/454 and http://yourdomain.com/p?546 might be pointing to the same page! It gets worse especially if your website is not just serving content but selling some products. In e-commerce, URLs get even more complex and there’re dozens of duplicate versions.
The outcome – search engine crawlers are confused, people are back-linking to the same page by using different URLs and you’re losing SEO benefits you could avail.
The solution to this problem is to clearly specific canonical URLs by making use of special tags. It shouldn’t, however, be used for redirects or content pagination. There’re other ways to do that.
Image Credit: Seotechn.blogspot.in
The reputation of a small business, industry leader or an executive on the World Wide Web is shaped by data bytes in public domain. Various forums, review websites, community portals, blogs, magazines, e-Books and news websites on the internet have information in multiple flavors on your organization or its offerings. Proactive management of online reputation is, therefore, an absolute necessity if your prospective customers, clients, suppliers, business partners, stockholders, journalists etc. are on the internet.
Read on to learn about 4 fundamental online reputation management essentials:
1. Plan your campaign!
To begin with, you need to start building a well thought-out online presence. Having a well-planned online promotion campaign is important to stay focused on both short and long term goals. Online product marketing, brand promotion or reputation management campaigns should always be planned according to the niche you’re in. While digital products and software are discussed widely on forums, lifestyle products find more mentions on social networking websites. Depending upon the kind of business you’re in, you can come up with a detailed plan to build a positive reputation online.
2. Be in Control of Your Online Presence!
You can create official pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn etc. and promote them in a planned manner. At the same time, you should also be optimizing your website and official blog for search engines. A well executed campaign ensures that people looking up on the internet for your name, business, products etc. will first come across information that has been carefully placed in the public domain! When multiple pages of your website, blog on third website or business profiles on aggregator websites rank higher up on search results engine page, not-so-great content about your business is automatically pushed down.
3. Watch What People Say about You!
News stories, reviews and blog posts get shared very quickly on the social media. For example, if a spiced up story written by a disgruntled journalist, competitor or an e-copycat with unfounded allegations on your company is exposed to 1000 people on social media networks, search engines or micro-blogging website, you can imagine the scope of damage it can cause to your company’s reputation. Therefore, it’s important that you either track your search results every day or let an online reputation management expert do it for you. With advanced information tracking tools, experts keep an eye on every bit of information published online that mentions your company, top executives, products or services.
It’s not uncommon to come across extremely unpleasant product or service reviews on the internet. It’s true that many of these reviews are fabricated. However, dissatisfied customers also make it a point to damage the reputation of a business or its offerings nowadays. Online reputation management professionals either contact people who publish negative information online to tell them the other side of the story or carefully counter a negative review published on a forum or community portal.
4. Encourage Positive Reviews
Encouraging satisfied customers to write positive reviews on the internet is a fundamental online reputation management technique that most business owners tend to ignore. Not only should your website have testimonials or feedback from customers in public domain but you should also encourage people to write about their positive experiences on Facebook Wall, Twitter, blogs and other review websites. Positive reviews can be fabricated too but they don’t help as much as original feedback written by real customers can.
Image Credit: Find and Convert
In what seems to be a man’s world, SEO and internet marketing is gradually being intruded by a lot of women. Maximum women may be repulsive to technology, but there is no dearth of those who wish to remain on their toes 24 hours, and like challenging and thought provoking tasks.
Surprisingly there are a large number of women out there who’ve made it bigger than their male counterparts in the world of Search Engine Optimization. Here’s a list of the top five.
5. Nichola Stott
Nichola Stott has made a mark in the world of SEO and Social media with her company theMediaFlow. Founder and Director of the company, Nichola’s company specializes in commercial web projects. It also has a consultancy division which helps clients with strategy planning, designing, SEO, SIM, and SMM. To add to this, her company also has a publishing division, where her team’s members showcase their commercial websites.
In the past, she’s worked with big names. She was the Head of Partner Development at Yahoo! Search Marketing, and oversaw brand building of significant business partners.
Connect with Nichola Stott on:
4. Aleyda Solis
The young and dynamic SEO expert, Aleyda Solis is currently an SEO consultant at the International division of SEER Interactive and SEOmoz Association. Previous to this, she was responsible for SEO, SEM and Web Analytics at QDQ Media. She has vast experience in the wedding, travel, and education sectors.
She’s collaborated as a teacher with various institutions like the Search Engine Master of the Pompeu Fabra University and the SEO Master at KSchool in Madrid. She’s been an active speaker at various forums, where she expertly delivers lectures on Search Engine Optimization and Web Analytics.
Connect with Aleyda Solis on:
3. Debra Mastler
Fondly known in the industry as the “Powerhouse of Link Building,’ Debra Mastler has vast experience in the SEO business and online marketing. She’s sometimes also called the backbone of the SEO Business. At present, she serves as the President of the Allinace-Link, a company focused on providing a link building training.
Many of her clients are Fortune 500 companies and top SEO firms around the US, UK, and Canada. She’s a regular speaker on various forums, lecturing about online marketing and SEO services. With over 13 years of dedicated experience, she’s a highly sought after professional.
Connect with Debra Mastler in:
2. Ann Smarty
Considered as one of the most influential bloggers of our times, Ann Smarty has been in the business for more than 6 years now. She has a vast industry experience, under different profiles. She’s worked as an SEO freelance, Editor in Chief at Search Engine Journal, Director of Media at BlueGlass, and guest contributor for other websites. Currently she’s working as the branding manager with Internet Marketing Ninjas Team.
Recently she came out with her most coveted, out-of-box idea, My Blog Guest. She started the new venture to provide a free platform connecting guest bloggers, since guest posts have always been a power tool.
Connect with Ann Smarty on:
1. Heather LLoyd Martin
The woman entrepreneur with maximum work experience in the field is Heather Lloyd Martin. She’s been a marketing veteran for over 20 years, and currently works as the President and CEO of Success Works, a marketing firm providing search engine optimized copywriting services.
Apart from this, she’s also known as renowned author, and serves on the board of member of the American Writers and Artists, Inc. She’s also served on the advisory board of SEMpdx, PubCon, and held the post of the Chairman at the Direct Marketing Association’s Search Engine Marketing council. Heather has also been mentiond in several magazine and books, including the Online Marketing Heroes SEO: Update your virtual Mullet and Target Marketing magazine.
Connect with Heather LLoyd Martin on:
Once again Facebook is ready to change the way we search for people and things. Their latest offering comes in the form of ‘Graph Search,’ which aspires to make user search more comprehensive. Not like it’s planning to replace Google, or even replicate it, but from the already existing graphs, it will help users to find connections with people, places and things more easily.
The things you can search on Graph Search are personalized items, the answers of which cannot be found on search engine. For example, you might want to see all the pictures you’ve ever liked at a particular place, or say you’re visiting a city next week and want to catch up with all your friends in that city, all you have to do is search for these questions on Facebook. Write simple queries in the Graph Search like ‘all pictures I liked,’ ‘my friends who’re in city XYZ this week’ or ‘cafés my family has visited,’ and your screen will generate personalized answers for you.
The program is not yet out in full flesh, and is available in a limited beta program. It’s a teaser for the kind of plans Facebook has for the future.
The Facebook team is working on the concept of what is called semantic search. In simple terminology, it means improving the accuracy of a search by understanding the user’s intent and the contextual meaning.
For example, you have to search Facebook for black coffee. A normal search on Facebook will display results with black coffee, used as a keyword. It will give a list of pages, persons, profiles with black coffee. But, what if you’d like to know which friends like black coffee? Or which of your friends has updated a status about black Coffee? Which cafes have been liked by your friends that serve black coffee? The list of questions can just go on.
Earlier, Facebook was a dumb searcher; it would have answered none of these questions. But, with the help of Graph Search Facebook generates personalized options for everything you search. So, if you type Black Coffee, the research will give you several options like:
- People who like black Coffee
- My friends who like Black Coffee
- Photos of black coffee
- Black coffee
- Black coffee with cream
So, it is clear that while keyword search has been helping users find what they want for a long time now, the way ahead is generating answers in accordance to their interests and behavior.
Facebook gives you an option on the right hand of the page, as ‘Refine this Search.’ It gives your categories like gender, relationships, hometown, school, friends, and more to further bring down your search to the specifics you’d like.
Beside this one can find local businesses, hot topics from friends, and much more with the help of this evolving technology. There are still plenty of areas where the technology has to show its bright colors.
For one, pages with maximum likes are still given more importance, and show up on the top of list of searched items. This means that optimizing your Facebook content, and engaging more and more users is the only way out. Status updates are still idle sources for Graph Search that may have great potential if tapped.
And, the last and somehow most important thing to remember is that Graph Search will not useful if your privacy settings are private., because you will remain undiscovered by it.
The mobile age, it seems, is finally approaching and that’s precisely the reason why Responsive Web Design (RWD) is making headlines this year! Smartphone share in both developed and developing countries in the world is increasing at a fast pace and if you want to personally check it – take a look at your traffic analytics and notice the latest trend – mobile traffic is increasing!
Startups as well as established companies like Microsoft and Sony have embraced RWD. Thousands of online enterprises are now keen on investing in a user experience that works well for users accessing their websites from mobile devices. There is no absolute answer to the question whether Responsive Web Design is suitable for your website or not.
Ready to ride on the hype-wagon, if you’re now contemplating modifying or redesigning your website to have a responsive design, it’s important that you first understand the pros and cons of RWD to make an informed decision!
Pros of Responsive Web Designs
Reduced Maintenance Costs: With RWD technology, you need not have multiple versions of the same website. One responsive website alone is ‘responsive’ to mobile or computing devices with variable-sized screens. Complete code of a responsive website is kept at once place, thereby making it easy for you or the developer to make future changes or adjustments.
Internet Marketing and Monitoring Benefits: With RWD, you’ll no longer need multiple URLs such as mobi.yourdomain.com. A responsive website has just one standard URL and therefore, you can get the maximum SEO juice without any dilution, primarily caused by redundant or duplicate URLS linking to the same content. Tracking website traffic or monitoring the progress of an internet marketing campaign too is easier when you’ve just one URL.
Brand Recognition: Uniform presentation of a website on disparate devices helps in creating the desired perception about a brand. When it comes to brand marketing, ‘consistency’ is the word and that’s exactly what responsive website designs help you to achieve on the World Wide Web!
Superior Cross-Platform UX: The key reason behind the popularity of RWD technology is the superior user experience it offers on different types of mobiles, smartphones, laptops, netbooks and monitors. Since a responsive website intelligently customizes its navigation and display area according to the device, the overall User Experience is greatly enhanced.
Maximize SMM Output: Besides SEO, social media marketing is now a key component of any online promotion campaign. With a responsive website design, you can make sure that your website pages are being served well to everyone when shared on social networks including those using tablets, smartphones etc.
Newer Devices Will Hit the Market: Every quarter, a large number of gadgets with internet access capabilities are released and there is no screen size standard. The best way you can make your website available to these users it to have a responsive web design.
Cons of Responsive Web Designs
Still at its Nascent Stage: The responsive web design technology is in growth mode. As more businesses and web development communities embrace RWD, it will continue to evolve. Since the technology is relatively new, it is likely to undergo major changes in future.
Increased Development Time: Developing a responsive website takes much longer than an ordinary website. Developers may also find it challenging to learn and implement newer concepts.
Lack of Support: Unlike mature web design technologies, RWD is not backed by support forums or online tools for performance checks. In fact, finding a developer or firm that can take up the task of designing a responsive design for you is not easy!
Unexpected Navigation Issues: When the visible website space is resized, menus too are resized. Navigation on some mobile devices can be completely different from what you actually wanted it to be.
Load Time: Images or other graphics are not scaled down when a responsively designed web page is loaded on variable sized screens. They’re downloaded by the browser as such, thereby significantly increasing the total web page load time.
Images play an extremely important part in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Fascinating images not only engage a reader to go through the story but also provide an emotional connect to the readers.
However, the question is how to increase the ability of the pictures to get shared! Image Search Optimization really is the answer.
What is it all about?
Image Search Optimization provides a much required thrust to the online search ranking of the image. Most importantly, it plays a major role in tracing pictures back to their host website.
Isn’t that just great? Yes, it is.
However, in order to guide the search engine to display your images in an online search a wide range of on-page factors need to be taken care of.
1) File name: The file name should be relevant to the image. It helps in increasing traffic to the site if both of them share related file name.
2) Alt-text: Add an alt tag to the image in a Web page’s HTML code that includes helpful descriptive information about the content of the image.
3) Captions: Try to make sure that the caption exists with the same HTML container as the image.
4) Alignment: Filename, Alt-text and caption should be combined together to gain more impact. They offer supreme benefits to the Websites in terms of image search by online users. It is always recommended that a link-back to the website should always be included alongside the image.
5) Page content: The page content should be in accordance with the image and the file should not have very large images. Any text linked to the image should have well researched keywords. It helps in increasing genuine traffic on to the website.
6) File format: The image should be in any of the two recommended file formats namely JPEG or PNG for additional impact. You could also add new sitemap for better organization of images.
It is anticipated by the Image Search Optimization specialists that there is a great possibility of search engines looking beyond the on-page factors in the time to come. New methods are being discovered on the basis of link relations between images, the usage rate of an image on the Website, the number of websites that share a similar image pattern and the behavior of online users in relation to image search.
Keyword addition has become a trend now days. However, the best practice is to add keywords where termed necessary. Relevance is the key as only properly placed keywords convey the required message to search engines. It is very important to employ moderation feature in your style of working specially when optimizing images. Well researched key words could add lots of advantages to the Website and increase its online rankings.
With the advent of social media and social networking sites, images have found a real niche for themselves on the internet. It would not be an exaggeration if we term Image Search Optimization as a valuable addition on the Web. A good content complimented with a relevant image has a far reaching effect.
Therefore, Image Search Optimization is finding huge acceptance among the websites in order to get noticed by the targeted users presently.
Marketing always needs social interaction to magnetize people to a particular product or service. Gone are the days of the traditional methods of marketing even internet marketing is no longer considered as a new thing. Social media
is the latest face of internet marketing where sharing and interaction is the most essential method for searching and using information. Social marketing allows businesses and websites to gain popularity over the Internet. There are several channels of social interaction which can be described as social media and these can be social networking websites, video and photo sharing websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, blogs, bookmarking sites etc. etc.
If you have business and you really want to get it noticed, social media is the perfect way to grab the attention of the audience towards your business. Social media is a basic part of any Internet Marketing Strategy. Therefore, it becomes necessary to discuss the benefits of Social Media Marketing.
Advantages of Social Media: -
Better Target Audience: - If social media is practiced appropriately it can draw a highly targeted segment of Internet users to visit your business or website. The different tools like tools like widgets and plug-ins available on social media sites help to increase the visibility of content on local as well as on global level. Social media mainly focuses on interactivity and engagement levels.
Brand Establishment: – Millions of people daily visit social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs. Getting your brand name all over these websites and blogs helps creating a company image.
Cost Effective: - Social marketing is one of the cheapest ways of marketing presently available. Almost every social media used for marketing the business either costs nothing or costs a very small amount. This low investment with minimum risk motivates even the small business to use social media for marketing their business.
Brand Recognition and Awareness: - Social Media Marketing uses tools such as blogs to boost awareness and image of the business or service. Blogging simultaneously “spread the word” about a company, its products, and its services to a large number of people in a shorter time thus noticeably increasing brand recognition.
User Friendly: - One of the best advantages of social marketing is that you don’t need to learn any coded language or vast skills to use any social media. Most of the social networking sites are easy to access anyone who knows how to use internet can use social networking tools and create a profile and post information about your business and service.
Increase Customer Loyalty and Trust: - People today don’t trust online advertising campaigns. Most of the internet users are bombarded with advertisements every day even banners and link ads have lost their charm so people normally don’t click on them. But social media speaks to your customers with a personal touch or in a conversational manner. People feel like they are talking to a friend and not a company. This approach helps your company to build their trust in you and they will choose your company for the business rather than your competition.
Since interaction with the audience is the key element in marketing and all businesses wants to increase sales, profit and customer’s visibility. Social Media Marketing if harnessed in a right way and right direction and used properly keeping check on its disadvantages can act as a boon in online marketing.
Being on the web is no good until you are visible enough. The designers and developers who have dedicated themselves to creating brilliant websites for businesses of all scales and sizes, have always been baffled by the do’s and don’ts to follow in order to stay on the front pages of search results of the major search engines. With the progressive development tools and languages and tools, SEO has seen several ups and downs.
A good SEO analyst would know that the optimization of the website should ideally start from its natal stage- the designing and the development. The latest buzz of HTML5- The fifth generation Hyper Text Mark-up Language, has stirred some issues when it comes to SEO. Is it pro-SEO or not? HTML5 has been greeted warmly by the developers as it overcomes many shortcomings that were lacking in a development language till now. But how does it affect SEO? How are SEO analysts eyeing this latest development?
Search engines are getting smarter day by day. Analysts can no longer dupe the search engines by the so called “black hat” techniques. The recent updates from Google, namely the Penguin and the Panda update have further laid emphasis on good quality SEO and mainly on the content of the website, the related articles and blogs.
HTML5, with its better options for page segmentation spells good news for SEO. With page segmentation, the different parts of the page are treated differently and thus making it better for SEO.
Another, happier news is all the tags that HTML5 allows. There are new tags like
<nav> etc. These tags along with many others would lead to better identification of content.</nav></footer></header></section> What is important to understand here is that HTML5 greatly helps improve the experience and the usability of the website, anyway making it a better candidate for higher ranks in search results. Especially for websites that are rich in media (audio and video), HTML5 is pretty advantageous, yes, in terms of SEO too. HTML5 also has better options to offer in terms of crawling and indexing of websites.
HTML5 still has to penetrate deeper into the web to better know its effects on SEO and then can one work out better ways to use the latest version of HTML to the advantage of SEO.